Music Ministry at UUCWC is a rich and diverse program that aims to deepen connections within our community, to Unitarian Universalist values, and to one another. As a born-and-raised UU (I was actually raised in this congregation!) and a professional musician, I know intimately how important music can be in any spiritual setting.
My goals as your transitional music director are to:
- provide spaces for reflection and meditation;
- encourage flexibility and healthy change;
- bring in new voices and ideas;
- and provide a multitude of ways for our community to engage meaningfully with music and UU values.
You can read more about specific Music Ministry initiatives below. If you’d like to get in touch, please send me an email at email@example.com.
Guest Musician Series
I love bringing new faces into the sanctuary, and started our guest musician series in 2022 (thanks to a generous grant from our Endowment Committee, awarded to previous director Caryl Tipton). Approximately once a month, a professional musician joins us to integrate high-quality performances into our Sunday service. Recent guests include Fareed Simpson-Hankins (trumpet), Lorenzo Raval (violin), and Megnot Toggia (soprano). These special services are always listed on our Events Page.
Music ministry extends beyond weekly services to our concert series, when we welcome professional ensembles into our sanctuary for affordable community concerts. Recent concerts have included the authentic Cuban music of Raul y su ClaveAché and our annual holiday concert with the South Philly Big Band and vocalist Najwa Parkins (pictured below). Check out our Events Page to stay in the loop about upcoming concerts.
Performing for Services: Crossing Chorale & Other Opportunities
Joining the Crossing Chorale is a great way to get more involved in music ministry at UUCWC. This is a non-professional choir that rehearses on Sundays afternoons, and performs about every 3 weeks for services. When selecting music for the choir, I like to find pieces that amplify UU principles and theology, but which also provide musical variety and interest. This means that we sing a mix of pieces from folk, rock, pop, and classical traditions (many of which I arrange myself), spanning from 500 years ago to brand-new material. I take care to include a diverse selection of composer identities and aesthetics in each season.
There are many congregants who wish to perform for services as instrumentalists, and we love to work together to find opportunities for them to perform as soloists, in chamber settings, or with the choir. If you are interested in sharing your gifts with us, or just want to discuss what this might look like, please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to me after the service.
When we have special music for Sunday services (i.e. a performance by the Crossing Chorale, a guest musician, etc.), you can view a short informational post about the music & any lyrics on our Digital Order of Service. Through the music notes, my hope is to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music that is shared during our services.